21:27 GMT12 July 2020
Listen Live
    UK
    Get short URL
    202
    Subscribe

    The author of the Harry Potter books, J K Rowling, was castigated on social media at the weekend after she mocked a reference in an article to “people who menstruate.” Daniel Radcliffe, who starred as Potter in the movies, has backed up her critics.

    British actor Daniel Radcliffe has apologised to Harry Potter fans if they were offended by comments made by J K Rowling about the transgender community.

    On Saturday, 6 June, Rowling reacted to a reference in an article about "people who menstruate" by tweeting: "I'm sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"

    ​LGBT activists immediately poured scorn on her and pointed out that some people who menstruate self-identified as male or queer and therefore did not identify as women.

    Rowling was accused of being transphobic for her remarks.

    ​She refused to apologise and on Sunday, 7 June, she tweeted: “I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.”

    ​The Twitter row highlights a subtle but bitter division between transgender women and what are sometimes known at as cisgender women.

    But Radcliffe, 30, has weighed in on the side of trans women.

    ​​Writing on the website of the Trevor Project, Radcliffe said: "Transgender women are women.”

    “Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I," he added, referring to Rowling by her first name.

    ​He said he apologised to Harry Potter fans who were offended by her remarks: "To all the people who now feel that their experience of the books has been tarnished or diminished, I am deeply sorry for the pain these comments have caused you."

    ​He said Rowling was "unquestionably responsible for the course my life has taken" but he said: “As a human being, I feel compelled to say something at this moment."

    It is not the first time J K Rowling has strayed into a woke minefield.

    ​In December she was accused of being transphobic after she went into bat for a researcher who was sacked after tweeting that transgender people cannot change their biological sex.

    Tags:
    transgender, JK Rowling, Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter
    Community standardsDiscussion